The true friend

Some of this is pretty obvious stuff but it still seems worth sharing my observations. Most of us have experienced ‘friends’ melting away when things are bad in one way or another, or when you need something and not the other way round, the ‘friend’ who is on the phone to you constantly, endlessly in need yet finds themselves unavailable when you ask them to put themselves out the tiniest bit.. When in extremis, when the chips are down as they say, you really get to see who cares and who doesn’t, and not only that but how they care.

In part I’m sure it’s to do with how well we relate to the other, how much genuine caring is actually there, and how well they either read us or are similar so know what’s needed. But there’s also the feel I’ve got in one or two instances that the offers aren’t really genuine, more a sense of wanting to look like a friend than actually being one if that makes any sense, either that or wanting to make it better for themselves so anything other than loveliness goes away. Even though I’ve shared little of the specifics I’ve had some really heartfelt offers from some and there’s absolutely no mistaking the authenticity. Others you kind of know you’d have to make really loud demands which would probably then be carried out but not in good grace even though help has been offered. And as any of you who know me or read me on a regular basis will be aware I only ever want authenticity. I mean if I told someone and they said something like ‘Oh dear, I’m sorry about that, but really I don’t give a shit, or if I do it’s only in a distant poor you kind of way and I really don’t want to be involved’ I’d respect them far more than the pat on the hand, and inauthentic offers.

The friend who is going with me to the hospital, who is in many ways quite unlike me, and dreadful at receiving herself (I relate, it can be a whole lot less challenging to give than to receive), when I said I was sorry for asking told me she’d have been offended if I hadn’t. I know realistically what I’m talking about here is more subtle than I’m making out, and the dynamics between people can be complex, sometimes confusing, often involving all sorts of elements, some unseen, but nonetheless it’s interesting to see how people do or don’t care, and who one wants to reach out to which is not always logical.

 Forgive the nauseatingly cute image but it seems to express some of what I feel, honouring the differences, appreciating the similarities.

As a complete irrelevance, why does wordpress feel I need to be congratulated for doing a certain number of posts, or to want to aim for a certain number, as if it has a meaning? I don’t get it…


9 thoughts on “The true friend

  1. I was just saying to myself, “Oh wook at da wittle, da wittle babies, da little baby bees…” when I read your caption under the image and burst out laughing.
    Re: wordpress – “Congratulations! You’ve reached level sixty-one! Only four thousand, three hundred and sixty-nine-forty left to go!”
    So now, after spending an inordinate amount of time sifting through hospital cartoons to try to find funny ones, here’s what I came up with to cheer you up. In order of gemerally increasing funniness (to me):

    (it really is sometimes like that. sometimes i want to explode (at my colleagues))


    • lol Thanks. Very reassuring. Not. It’s a little troubling that going to the doctors for the initial test got me a stinking cold and last week the builder got a horrible stomach bug from the very hospital I’m going to. It hardly inspires one with confidence.

      • I guess sometimes you have to have our jaded sense of humor to enjoy such as these. Myself I love hospitals, feel the most comfortable there, so never understand how people feel uneasy about them, or even outright hate going to them. They’re the only place I ever found care, early on, so it’s a lot of conditioning.
        But we do generally try to make sure everything is clear and smooth-ish. I like to say a good doctor is as rare as a bad doctor. Most are just docs. (I will not settle for not being good.)
        sorry about the cold. get better!!

  2. I tend to have some rather “skewed” views on trust and care, even by my own estimate, so I don’t know how well my contribution to this thread may be received. Generally speaking, I feel that people act in self-interest. If they wish for you to get well, they are likely just concerned about themselves losing good company, and anything that they present as care–whether or not it is accepted or even rendered–is simply a gesture intended to reinforce that notion from your perspective, or what you’d refer to as people making themselves look like your friends. This invariably jeopardizes your ability to trust, which is the other thing you’ve spoken about. To be honest, I’ve not reconciled any of this for myself, not even to the extent to where I’d be able to pin down the exact motivations for “caring” about others, never mind their motivations to care about me, but I thought that I’d at least try to outline the dilemma.

    • Your authentic perception will always be well received here. Whatever anyone says there’s always an element of self interest or self protection going on, even in apparently altruistic acts. There is something to be gained for the self, the feel good factor which comes in many forms. I don’t think that’s at issue nor a problem. Beyond that it gets more complex. But caring isn’t just about self interest, it’s also about other interest. Some of that may relate to how you’d feel about yourself if you didn’t, but there is a common linking and bonding between people which means the well being of another is tied in with their own and that’s when it works best, when it’s not a ‘you’ or ‘me’, it’s something which comes out of what lies between us. As you say we’ve discussed some of this before, and could probably ramble about it a lot more because there’s a lot going on in any interaction, much of which is unseen and motivations which are probably not even apparent to the one holding them. I talked somewhere about the victim triangle and that’s an unhealthy way to interact, becomes dysfunctional and sometimes abusive in all sorts of ways, and in such scenarios you can trust people to follow a certain pattern even if it’s unpleasant, and some like that security even if it isn’t life enhancing. Anyway I’m blahing on…

      • I’ve thought about this some more and, if I was to isolate the key factor surrounding this dilemma, however vague, it’d be the aspect of vested interest. If I’m willing to land myself to help Cathy feel better, then what’s in it for me? Why wouldn’t I be as quick to land myself to the millions of others who may appreciate the care and concern just as much if not more? If it’s a matter of positive feedback, I’m sure many of those whom I care about would offer some… So is it a matter of feedback from certain people in particular? Well, if so, we’re right back to the question of what’s in it for me? Hmm…

  3. Because in however small a way you and I add one one another’s lives. If it wasn’t mutually beneficial it wouldn’t work. Incidentally, I’m not sure I want to feel better, I just want to be honoured in whatever I happen to be feeling in relation to however this situation evolves.

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